|Submission Date||Dec. 13, 2017|
|4.00 / 4.00||
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
Prior to Fall 2015, the campus only consistently recycled redeemable bottles and cans. When the Center for Sustainability and the Environment opened, the director undertook the effort to create infrastructure support for comprehensive recycling on campus. This included requesting a commingled recycling roll-off from our waste hauler to be placed near the existing trash rolloff-compactor and, first using existing containers, developing waste separation stations in all campus buildings. We worked with Facilities Services leadership and staff to develop new procedures for collecting recyclables and keeping them separate from landfill trash. We also created signage for Carry In/Carry Out classrooms and worked with senior leadership to expand this program to faculty and staff offices - now all students in classrooms and all employees are responsible for talking their recyclables and landfill trash to the nearest waste separation and properly disposing of their materials. We also created uniform signage and conducted outreach to the campus community on properly separating commingled recyclables from landfill trash.
Our recycling rate increased substantially in the first year (but then, going from virtually zero to anything would be a marked improvement ;-)) Our comprehensive recycling program has continued to improve each year.
The Center for Sustainability and the Environment created the EnergyWISE campaign, using the Center's unofficial mascot, Orson the Wells Owl, to encourage energy conservation. We installed Be EnergyWISE reminder cards next to all lightswitches in public areas in all campus buildings. We regularly use the Installments program to message about energy conservation. We placed "You Know You Want To..." reminder cards next to PC computers in labs and classrooms to remind users to put the computer to sleep and switch off the monitor after use (IT has asked to have the units put to sleep instead of turned off in order to allow pushout of updates to networked PCs). We issue similar reminders to faculty and staff to completely shut down their computers before long break periods.
The campus has few submetered buildings on campus, so it has been difficult to empirically measure the impact of these programs, but anecdotally, we are seeing more lights turned off in public spaces and more computer equipment being put to sleep in classrooms and labs.
We have also undertaken a Be WaterWISE campaign, placing reminder placards next to sinks in all bathrooms on campus. However, we have NO building-level water metering to be able to monitor actual behavior changes and water conservation - moreover, we do not even have campus-level water meters or flow regulators, as the campus processes the potable drinking water for both the campus and the Village of Aurora, and simply diverts a portion of processed water for campus purposes, without metering or monitoring actual flow.
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